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Ferrar Fenton Bible: John 5

The Gospel as Recorded by St. John

Second Visit to Jerusalem
The Cure at the Pool of Bethesda

After this there was a Judean festival; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem, near the sheep-market, a public bath, called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five covered walks, in which lay a great number of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed.1

And there was a man there who had been detained by his sickness for thirty-eight years. Jesus, noticing him prostrate, and knowing that he had been ill for a long time, asked him:

“Do you desire to become well?”

“Sir,” replied the sick man to Him, “I have no one to throw me into the bath when the water is agitated; but while I am coming, someone else goes down before me.”

Jesus said to him, “Rise up, take up your rug, and walk.”

And the man was at once restored; and, taking up his rug, he began to walk.


That day, however, happened to be the Sabbath. The Judeans therefore said to the restored man:

“This is the Sabbath; it is not allowable for you to carry your rug about.”

But he answered them: “The Man Who made me well, told me Himself to take up my rug and walk.”

They then asked: “Who is the fellow that said to you, ‘Take it up and walk?’”

The restored man, however, did not know who He was; for a crowd being on the spot, Jesus had withdrawn Himself. Jesus afterwards met him in the temple, and said to him:

“Reflect! You have been made well; sin no more, so that nothing worse may come to you.”

The man then went away, and reported to the Judeans that it was Jesus Who had made him well. The Judeans for this reason began to persecute Jesus, because He had done it upon the Sabbath. Jesus, however, said to them:

“My Father is working until now; and I will work.”

For this reason the Judeans sought to murder Him; because He was not only breaking the Sabbath, but also called God His own Father, thus making Himself equal to God.

The Prerogatives of the Son

Jesus, therefore, addressed them, saying:

“I tell you very truly, the Son is able to do nothing from Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it; for whatever He may do, the Son also does the same. For the Father regards His Son, and shows Him all that He Himself is doing; and indeed, He will show Him greater works than these, so that you will wonder. For, as the Father raises the dead, and restores to life; thus also the Son restores to life whoever He pleases. For the Father decides nothing; but has deputed every decision to the Son; in order that all may honour the Son, as they honour the Father. Those who do not honour the Son, cannot honour the Father Who sent Him.

“I tell you truly, that whoever listens to My teaching, and trusts in My Sender, possesses eternal life, and will not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. I tell you most assuredly, that the time will come, and has even now come, when the dead shall listen to the voice of the Son of God; and the hearers will live. For as the Father possesses life within Himself, so He has conferred upon the Son the possession of life within Himself; and He has also invested Him with authority to execute His decision, because He is Son of Man. Do not be surprised at this; because the time comes, in which all those in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come out: those who have done good to a resurrection of life; and those who have done evil to a resurrection of judgment.”

The Testimony of God to Christ the Life

“From Myself I can do nothing; as I hear, so I decide, and My decision is right: because I do not seek My own purpose, but the purpose of My Sender. If I should testify about Myself, My evidence would not be reliable. There is another witness for Me; and I know that the evidence which he gave about Me is reliable. You have yourself sent to John, and he has given evidence to the truth. I do not, however, accept the evidence of a man; but I mention this, in order that even you may be saved. He was the burning and the shining lamp; and you were willing to be delighted for a time with its light; but I have better evidence than that of John; for the works which the Father has appointed Me to accomplish – these works which I am doing – give evidence about Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Who sent Me has Himself given evidence concerning Me.

“You have never at any time listened to His voice, nor looked upon His Ideal; and you have not His thought dwelling in you, because you do not believe the One Whom He has Himself sent. You search the Scriptures, because you imagine in them to have eternal life; and they are the witnesses about Me: yet you do not desire to come to Me, so that you might have life. I do not crave human honour; but I have known you, that you have not the love of God in yourselves. I have come with the power of My Father, and yet you do not receive Me. If another should come with his own power, you would accept him! How can you possibly believe, taking approval, as you do, from one another; while you do not desire the rectification which comes from the only God? Do not imagine, however, that I will accuse you before the Father. But one accuses you: Moses, in whom you trust! For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you disbelieve his writings, how can you rely upon My statements?”


  1. Some very old Mss., but of no recognized authority, here insert an interpolated passage, somewhat to the following effect: - “Expecting the agitation of the water; for an angel of the Lord at stated times descended to the bath, and agitated the water. Then whosoever first went down, after the disturbance of the water, was relieved of whatever disease he happened to be afflicted with.” See Westcott and Hort’s Greek Testament and Appendix.

Transcribed by JT Atkinson on 02-13-2015